With the celebration of Earth Day recently and spring cleaning on the minds of countless homeowners, it’s the perfect time to make homes more earth-friendly and energy efficient. The truth is, with only a few small, inexpensive changes, homeowners could be on their way to saving 20% or more on monthly energy bills. Here, the home-efficiency professionals from Service Experts share techniques on how to start saving now.
1. Purchase a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat typically saves between 12% to 23% on a power bill, and it’s also a remarkable tool to lower carbon emissions from a household. How do they do it? Smart thermostats go beyond simply programming the time of day for the system to turn on or off. Some smart thermostats are intuitive and can detect changes in power use patterns and home activity. They can also be programmed while you are away via an app, and notify homeowners about changes that may impact their energy bill.
“This technology saves you money and also makes life easier,” stated Service Experts’ Lisa Lange. “It’s a low-cost way to improve energy efficiency in your home immediately.”
2. Hire a Professional to Perform a Heating and Cooling System Tune-Up
Before the summer heat starts, another eco-friendly move is to schedule routine servicing and inspection of your air-conditioning system. Routine maintenance will help homeowners avoid large and costly repairs during the busy season for HVAC technicians and a system that performs optimally minimizes reliance on fossil fuel energy sources.
A tune-up involves cleaning all of the system’s important components, in addition to testing and making adjustments to the unit’s operating system. In addition to checking refrigerant levels and changing out air filters, the condenser located outdoors should also be cleaned and examined.
“During your tune-up, it’s a great time to tap the expertise of an HVAC pro,” said Lisa Lange. “We encourage customers to ask about thermostat settings, when to change air filters and bring any other questions they may have about the energy efficiency of their home.”
3. Add Insulation
Putting insulation in a home is an eco-friendly tip that could help save up to 20% on a power bill. In many residences, air leaks out through attics, crawl spaces and basements. If a room is drafty and has trouble maintaining a consistent temperature, it may be time to check attic insulation. Cold floors may also be a sign that basement insulation isn’t at the level you really need it to be. All of these worries also lead to higher energy consumption, which leads to more carbon emissions.
“Many homeowners are surprised when they learn their home is under-insulated, but it’s actually quite common,” said Lange. “The good news is that, just like a smart thermostat, you can see the utility cost savings from this decision very quickly. You will also take comfort in knowing that you are helping improve our environment through reduced emissions.
4. Ensure Your Home Is Airtight
Windows, ductwork, light sockets and weather stripping around doors are all places in the home prone to leaks and heat loss or gain (in summer, no one wants muggy air seeping in). Let Earth Day be a cue to green up these areas of the house by embarking on some quick repairs. Swapping out old weather stripping and caulking around windows are two inexpensive tasks that are fairly easy to tackle, said Lange, and will lessen the load on HVAC systems and the electrical grid too.
5. Consider an Energy Zoning System
To develop a comfort zoning system for a home, a certified HVAC specialist identifies areas in a house based on its layout, sun exposures and the amount of energy demand different areas need. The HVAC pro can then design a system that properly distributes air in the home harmonizing comfort and energy efficiency. These systems usually involve several thermostats and adjustments to the ductwork. When paired with a smart thermostat, they can dramatically improve comfort, save customers more than 30% on their energy bill and greatly reduce a home’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“How many times in a day do we heat or cool a room no one is using? It happens all the time, and it adds up to significant energy waste, and these systems are an optimal solution,” Lange said.
6. Use Energy-Efficient Light bulbs
If a homeowner’s finances don't allow for major upgrades, replacing standard incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs is an inexpensive, eco-friendly decision with a big impact on the environment. The majority of LEDs will last up to seven years and use about 90% less electricity than traditional bulbs.
7. Go Solar
With up to 30% in federal tax credits available to bring down the expense of a solar installation, there may never be a better time to install one on a home. Over their lifetime, these quality, energy-producing systems can generate an average savings of about $60,000 and greatly reduce a homeowner’s cumulative carbon footprint.
“We have the best program in the country. Our experts will develop an energy savings plan that will help you get the most out of your system and show you’re making a direct positive impact on the environment,” Lange said.
For more information about tips to make a home more energy efficient, visit ServiceExperts.com.